This interesting cabinet card features a woman wearing a very unusual dress. The dress’s pattern can be described as psychedelic. Some would call the pattern paisley. One wonders if the woman’s dress really looked this way or if an artist colored the photograph while knocking off a bottle of whiskey. Another theory is that the subject woke up the morning of her appointment at the photographer and realized she had nothing to wear. In an act of desperation, she wore the living room drapes. Before I conjecture further, I want to call for assistance from the cabinet card gallery’s research department. Perhaps one of the several fashion savvy cabinet card gallery visitors can share their informed opinion about this woman’s attire. I shouldn’t call her “this woman” because I know her name. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph reveals that her name is Sarah Goodwin and that the cabinet card photo was taken in 1892. The 1880 US census finds a Sarah Goodwin living in Ware, Massachusetts. This is a town 24 miles away from Knowlton Brothers studio in Northampton. At the time of this photograph, Miss Goodwin was twenty nine years-old and working in a cotton mill. She was the third of five children born to Steven and Mary Goodwin. Sarah was born in 1863 in England, which was also the birthplace of her parents.
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